among the stars …
a child’s wish
– Chen-ou Liu (Canada)
When I was a child, I used to watch fireflies, considering them as a lucky charm. This haiku reminds me of my childhood memories associated with fireflies and I can relate to it.
A “first firefly” is a hope in the darkness that we want to have in our lives. The poet beautifully put two contrasting realities together.
One is stars we cannot touch and the other one is a firefly that we can touch and personally feel its existence. The firefly is more like a dream that comes true—a kind of wish that is fulfilled by feeling the existence of a firefly’s light that resembles starlight. One can also see the limitation of certain realities that are beyond our understanding and access but possible through imagination and adopting alternative approaches. A child enjoys his or her access to the stars through a firefly that takes him close to his imagination and fulfills the wish of touching stars.
– Hifsa Ashraf (Pakistan)
It is an ordinary experience but extraordinary at the same time. Seeing the flash of light from a firefly against a starry night sky is enchanting and mystical to witness. It makes us appreciate nature’s majesty more.
Usually, fireflies come out strong in the summer when they are looking for mates. So, the first firefly could be an indication of summer. The child does not know about fireflies’ mating seasons and his or her wish is based on one of beauty and wonder. It makes for an interesting dichotomy, though, of innocence and experience. However, the last line could be interpreted in two ways: it is the child’s wish to see a firefly with the stars, or that a firefly among stars is like a child’s wish.
As Hifsa mentioned, this haiku merges the earthly and the cosmic, each with its own light. Though the distance is substantially different, the circumference of light might be about the same from the view of a person. In this way, a star’s twinkle might as well be a star’s brilliance, and vice versa.
At a technical glance, we have alliteration in the first line that adds a musical sense to the haiku. The structure is standard and the ellipsis as a kireji works well. It gives a chance for the reader to slow down and imagine the wonderful scene. Each line comprises four syllables, which makes it compact like most well-written haiku (though the kireji would be counted in Japanese).
A haiku powered by enchanting imagery that gives readers more than something to imagine: it prompts us to see the connection between the mundane and the cosmic, and to appreciate the wonder of a child.
– Nicholas Klacsanzky (USA)
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